Make Ahead

Cardamom-Spiced Chocolate Pudding or Pudding Pops

May 15, 2021
0 Ratings
Photo by ElegantEllen
  • Prep time 5 minutes
  • Cook time 15 minutes
  • makes 1 big bowl, 6-8 ramekins or 10-16 popsicles
Author Notes

Oftentimes, I find myself craving a smooth, classic, chocolate fix. Not any ol’ chocolate bar, nor a crumbly baked-good. I desire a deep, dark chocolately thing. Something decadent, silky, sumptuous. Last Spring, during the height of the pandemic, I started tweaking my go-to comfort foods so I could find a better balance between joyfulness and healthfulness. This recipe became the darling of my pandemic family pod - satisfying finicky 3rd graders, foodie sisters, and my gluten-free palate alike. Adapted from Alice Medrich’s My Chocolate Pudding (Pure Desserts cookbook), I’ve made this my own in four major ways: I spiced the chocolate with the fragrant aroma of cardamom, traded out the whole milk for almond milk; reduced the sugar, and intensified the flavor of chocolate with a dash of instant coffee powder. The best thing about this recipe is that it meets chocolate lovers in all seasons - classic pudding in the Spring, Fall, Winter, and chocolatey pudding popsicles in the Summer. Or make a bit of both, if you’re like me! Enjoy indulging without the guilt.

Note: you can also use unsweetened coconut milk, oat milk, or regular whole milk for this recipe.
ElegantEllen Recipes

What You'll Need
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (either natural or dutch-process is fine)
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 dash kosher salt
  • 2 cups almond milk (unsweetened)
  • 2 large eggs at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant coffee or espresso powder
  • 1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (at least 70% cacao) and I like to use gluten-free chips
  • 1-2 whole green cardamom pods, crushed
  1. In a heavy saucepan, whisk the first four ingredients together (cocoa powder, cornstarch, sugar, salt) and set on the stove. Pour the almond milk into a 2 cup measuring cup and add 1/3 of the milk into the saucepan. Stir until smooth, without lumps.
  2. Turn on heat to medium-high and add the rest of the milk, stirring constantly. Add the instant coffee powder and the crushed cardamom pod(s), seeds and all. Adjust the heat down to low to keep from boiling. Cook until the mixture starts to steam with small bubbles forming on the sides, for 4-5 minutes. While mixture is cooking, crack 2 room temperature eggs into your 2 cup measuring cup and beat with a fork.
  3. Now you’re going to temper the eggs with 1 cup of the mixture. Slowly ladle 1/3 c of the pudding into the eggs and whisk continuously. Repeat twice. Pour the tempered eggs back into the saucepan.
  4. Keep the heat at low, stirring for 8-10 minutes, ensuring that the mixture doesn’t boil.
  5. Take saucepan off the heat and set a fine mesh sieve over a clean bowl. Pour mixture through the sieve, pushing with a rubber spatula in a circular motion to remove the cardamom seeds and any eggy remains.
  6. Rinse and dry the saucepan, and pour the pudding back in. Stir in the vanilla extract and dark chocolate chips until melted. If needed, turn heat on low to help melt the chocolate chips.
  7. Use an immersion blender or a regular blender and process for 10-15 seconds until smooth. You might need to tilt your saucepan just so, in order for the immersion blender to run smoothly.
  8. Now you get to choose: Chocolate Pudding or Chocolate Pudding Pops? For the pudding, pour into a big bowl or divide among 6-8 ramekins. Let cool a bit and serve while still a tad warm. Or, chill in the fridge, covering with plastic wrap. Serve cold.
  9. For pudding pops, pour the pudding into 10-16 popsicle molds (depending on your mold size). Let the pudding cool off a little and then pop them into the freezer to freeze. (approximately 5-7 hours). For an extra special treat, chop up some toasted almonds and throw them into the tops of the mold before pouring the pudding into them.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • AntoniaJames
  • ElegantEllen Recipes
    ElegantEllen Recipes
  • judy

4 Reviews

judy May 20, 2021
Love chocolate pudding and love cardamom. I have a go to recipe for pudding the I love as well. And I like the reduced sugar. I am a 2% milk person pretty much, as many of the alternative milk products have ingredients I seem to be sensitive to. Your recipe is about the same as mine, except for the addition of the cardamom and chocolate chips. I change mine up in a lot of ways: coconut, candied ginger strips, candied orange--my husband loves chocolate and orange. I generally serve with a good sour cream--lately I have been using Nancy's probiotic that has a really nice tang. Sometimes I use brown sugar instead of white. I cannot eat cooked sugar, so I stir it in at the end so it melts and sweetens the pot. Seems to work just fine. Stepped up version of hot cocoa for sure. As for actually putting all together, I have found that, after doing the first step of mixing dry ingredients with a small amount of the wet, I beat my eggs into a high froth then beat them into the milk. Stir that milk into the cocoa paste, and bring very slowly to a high simmer and allow to simmer for just a minute or so for the cornstarch to cook. Then remove from stove. No need to temper the eggs with hot filling afterwards. Learned this from a revision in the recipe on the back of Kingsford Cornstarch decades ago for their Lemon Meringue pie. Eggs went right in along with everything else. And I have found over the decades that this works every time. It took me a few tries to learn how much heat cooks the cornstarch without overcooking the egg proteins, but it has saved a ton of time ever since. Also, pudding without the eggs is just as good, so they aren't really that necessary --at least with milk. Maybe they round out the milk alternatives. Happy cooking everyone!
ElegantEllen R. May 21, 2021
Thanks so much for sharing Judy! I didn’t know about the eggs in with everything trick - I’m going to try that out this weekend!
AntoniaJames May 15, 2021
This sounds so delicious. Thanks too for including the alternate ingredients tips! ;o)
ElegantEllen R. May 16, 2021
Thanks Antonia, I appreciate your comment on my very first Food52 recipe posting, ever! Please do let me know if you make the recipe and what you think of it - fair warning, it is quite an addictive chocolate pudding! I make it almost every week bc I usually need to use up a non- dairy milk carton before it goes bad!